In praise of slow and steady: Sea turtles and the growth of China’s economy

March 24, 2016 p360

ChinaBio Partnering Forum 2016

It is said so often that it has become a financial markets cliché—when China sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold.


But, in spite of recent lackluster indicators, world economic leaders remain unfazed when it comes to China’s position, and China remains staunchly the world’s second-largest life science market, increasingly well-funded by government, VC and corporate investors.


A wave of biotech entrepreneurs is unified in its aim to modernize China’s pharmaceutical industry and make the country a force in drug development. These entrepreneurs, nicknamed “sea turtles” by the Chinese industry, have been drawn home after training in the West to seek out opportunities in a rapidly improving business climate as Beijing pumps resources into its mission to create a more innovative, high-value economy.


Not only is China capitalizing on the Western macro-trend of pushing innovation for investment and licensing opportunities, the country is also feeding its own healthy appetite for leadership in early-stage innovation, demonstrating an impressive shift away from low-risk contract work in sales and generics development—to novel therapeutic research.


With soaring numbers of scientists, rising investment in R&D and growing demand for high-quality medicines from an aging population, China has all the pieces in place for explosive growth in its biotech sector, regardless of its economic growth rate. The Chinese innovation engine is gaining speed and well on its way towards becoming the world leader in pharmaceutical markets by 2020.


Read more about the slew of major deals, mergers and acquisitions in 2015 involving China-based R&D companies as China emerges as a hotbed of partnering activity, especially for drug development. The positive trend in IPOs from Chinese companies since 2013 has emboldened bullish investors waiting on a turnaround since the industry’s brief fizzle-out last fall. See the full article on partnering360:Insight.


Meet many “sea turtles” and other Chinese entrepreneurs at ChinaBio® Partnering Forum, May 18–19, 2016 in Suzhou, China.


Contributed by Margaret Chiu for partnering360®


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